Sir Charles Wheatstone and his family

1 portrait

Sir Charles Wheatstone and his family, by Antoine Claudet, circa 1851-1852 - NPG P154 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Sir Charles Wheatstone and his family

by Antoine Claudet
stereoscopic daguerreotype, arched top, circa 1851-1852
2 7/8 in. x 2 1/4 in. (73 mm x 57 mm)
Given by Governing Body of King's College, London, 1980
Primary Collection
NPG P154

Click on the links below to find out more:

Sittersback to top

Artistback to top

  • Antoine Claudet (1797-1867), Photographer and inventor. Artist associated with 42 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Charles Wheatstone began his career as a musical instrument maker, and from the start revealed his powers as an inventor when he patented the concertina (1829). He was the first to make possible the sending of messages by electiric telegraph, a pioneer of submarine telegraphy, and instrumental in the creation of the modern dynamo. He has a special place in the history of photography, for in 1832 he invented the stereoscope, by which an impression of solidity in an image is obtained through the combination of two pictures in slightly dissimilar perspective. This stereoscopic daguerreotype shows Wheatstone with his family grouped around a table on which is the wave model (c.1840) with which he demonstrated the wave properties of light.

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Piper, David, The English Face, 1992, p. 202
  • Rogers, Malcolm, Camera Portraits, 1989 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 20 October 1989 - 21 January 1990), p. 25
  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 735

Tell us moreback to top

Can you tell us more about this portrait? Spotted an error, information that is missing (a sitter’s life dates, occupation or family relationships, or a date of portrait for example) or do you know anything that we don't know? If you have information to share please complete the form below.

If you require information from us, please use our Archive enquiry service. If you wish to license this image, please use our Rights and Images service.

Please note that we cannot provide valuations.

We digitise over 8,000 portraits a year and we cannot guarantee being able to digitise images that are not already scheduled.

What can you tell us?close

There are occasions when we are unsure of the identity of a sitter or artist, their life dates, occupation or have not recorded their family relationships. Sometimes we have not recorded the date of a portrait. Do you have specialist knowledge or a particular interest about any aspect of the portrait or sitter or artist that you can share with us? We would welcome any information that adds to and enhances our information and understanding about a particular portrait, sitter or artist.


How do you know this? Please could you let us know your source of information.

* Permission to publish (Privacy information)
Privacy Informationclose

The National Portrait Gallery will NOT use your information to contact you or store for any other purpose than to investigate or display your contribution. By ticking permission to publish you are indicating your agreement for your contribution to be shown on this collection item page. Please note your email address will not be displayed on the page nor will it be used for any marketing material or promotion of any kind.

Please ensure your comments are relevant and appropriate. Your contributions must be polite and with no intention of causing trouble. All contributions are moderated.

Your nameclose

If you tick permission to publish your name will appear above your contribution on our website.

Your Emailclose

Contributions are moderated. We'll need your email address so that we can follow up on the information provided and contact you to let you know when your contribution has been published.